Deep inside me wanted to write a blog post about my harsh experience in a toxic environment. My purpose of writing this blog post is to warn and show the pros and cons of experience being in toxic environments.
This was during the year 2017 – 2018, I was only 22 or 23 years old, fresh graduate student. Young, innocent and bright person seeking to explore the new unknown world. It was this experience that made me took a step back and a big step forward. When my parents told me that the world is cruel and I didn’t know what it actually means. Hence, it drives me curious to know what is in this new world. Thus, I start working right after I graduated.
The first few months of work was going well until, closer to the end of the year, I was placed under an unexpected task from another team project. I had to put my project low priority which wasn’t fair to my customer. I was too kind to pick that task up and there where the bad situation happen. I got to know that, it was an abandon task that not a single person from the team would want to take it up. I have no idea how are the people at that environment and not a single responsible person of that project was there to assist me. On the first day onsite, there were many hurtful comments, whispering about my physical appearance. Actually it hurts a little but I just ignore it because my purpose there was to complete the task. Racist is everywhere is not uncommon.
After completed my task, I went on to continue my project. A few days later, I got a call from my boss that they need an emergency deployment within 24 hours, I was surprise and angry because I can see that I was being used. I had no choice to have to work 2 different projects deployment on the same day, just to keep my project on-track too. I could not risk my timeline of my project for others people project. It was all about money to the company. It opens my eyes that this is not the company that I want to grow with, and I resigned. That sums up my 2017 year.
Well, I understand that my physical appearance gave many the perception that “She can never do it“. Being petite, has never got to do with my talent.
In 2018, I joined a new company. It was a startup company and I was warn that working for startup, there are more sacrifices to be made. I understand that statement because of me wanting to gain this new experience and I accepted the offer. After the few months of journey, I understand that as a startup company, financial sustainability was important.
I was placed in a project. This experience by far the worst of the worst, it took a toll on my health. Could you believe that? Me a 23 year old, having health problems already. I could never able to tell my parents. No parents wants to see their kids suffer in health. I could only tell to my friends.
It was my first time having to faced managers from different departments in a meeting. They were all selfish, rude, disrespectful and fake. University never trained us to deal with such people. I was only working for the company and by means that I always “bow” to get things done but for this round, “bow” is not the answer. The “N” number of times of me getting scold at and chop at. Thus, hurt my mental health and physical health, liver problem. Being put into such mental stress that I had also fall into deep depression, I could not eat well, I could not sleep well. My life was work, eat, and sleepless.
I had times thought of resigning and abandon this project. However, deep inside me, a tiny voice told me that if I failed this challenge I can never succeed in future. I was being played all along by them, it was all a game. To play this game and to win was “courage” to say “No”. When I start to use “courage”, I can see that I was wining the game. It was “courage” what scares them. After I got that project close, I can sleep peacefully and took days off.
It was the person that I trusted placed me into this situation. He apologies and I forgive him. The trust was broken, he was seen as my enemy, I felt bad because deep down, he has not broken any promises yet. Appreciation was awarded fairly. This experience form a trauma in me, took me awhile to build back the trust.
The pros for experienced such toxic environment, is that in future I would know how to deal with these kind of people. I learn that I have the rights to say “No”.
The cons for experienced such toxic environment, is that I start to see everyone are my enemies, I can never trust anyone. I become highly defensive. I hurt good people that I never wanted to. Health takes a toll.
It took me awhile to see that not everyone are enemies and I apologies to those good people. I have to thanks to my parents and friends that help me through this tough times.
If you are experiencing challenge, do talk to someone that you feel comfortable to talk about your situation. Do know your limit, if you can take up the challenge then go ahead. If you can’t it is still alright. Talent can be grow and groom in many ways.
There will be no more toxic work experience in my life, I would not want to work to die.